Current Thinking

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Nov 23, 2015 In the days since the November 13th terrorist attacks in Paris, several anti-Muslim acts of violence have been reported across the United States and worldwide. If history is a reliable witness, these hate crimes—criminal acts motivated in whole or in part by bias against a person’s real or perceived race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, or disability—will continue to be on the rise, consistent with the aftermath of 9/11...

Nov 19, 2015 Last week, the White House, in partnership with 20 foundations, announced that it would be investing $118 million dollars to improve the lives of women and girls of color. The news comes just over a year after the White House announced its $200 million public-private partnership for young men and boys of color, “My Brother’s Keeper,” which ignited controversy over the legitimacy of an effort to end racial injustice without including girls of color. The...

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Nov 17, 2015 Last month, the New York Times reported that more than 130 law enforcement officials have launched an initiative to reduce both crime and incarceration, representing a public shift in philosophy from previously popular tough-on-crime rhetoric. As a police officer in Seattle for 31 years and now with the King County Sheriff’s Office for the last year, I have personally witnessed this kind of growing willingness from formerly adversarial—or a least “siloed...

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Nov 13, 2015 */ The Justice in Katrina's Wake blog series reflects on New Orleans' local incarceration practices, the movement to foster fairness in its criminal justice system, and efforts to increase safety for all communities. Kenneth A. Polite is the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana and serves as the...

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Nov 9, 2015 Unaccompanied migrant children are once again visible, as the New York Times reported recently in their article, “Migrant Children, Arriving Alone and Frightened.” As the “migrant crisis” in Europe captures public attention, the debate over the rights of migrants, who are fleeing for their lives—and, of course, seeking a living—veers from disturbing expressions of fear and prejudice, to efforts to obey moral and international legal obligations to help....

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Nov 6, 2015 */ The Justice in Katrina's Wake blog series reflects on New Orleans' local incarceration practices, the movement to foster fairness in its criminal justice system, and efforts to increase safety for all communities. Derwyn Bunton is the chief district defender for Orleans Parish, leading the Orleans Public...

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Nov 4, 2015 On Monday, November 2, President Obama announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released guidance for public housing and other federally-assisted housing providers on “excluding the use of arrest records in housing decisions.” The guidance is an important step in helping housing authorities reexamine the ways they use arrests and convictions in admissions and evictions decisions and bringing their approach in line with...

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